Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

Thus Far

I’d give President Donald Trump a letter grade of a B, thus far. Our 45th President of the United States is already honoring some of the promises he made during his campaign by way of executive orders. Of course, executive orders are the lazy man’s way of implementing change, and they’re only worth about as much as the paper they’re printed on once the president who signed them leaves office. Many presidents from both major political parties have gone solo numerous times during their presidencies, but I’m certainly not a fan of the common practice. It’s simply too easy to undo something the prior president enacted, with one fell swoop of a pen, which is precisely what President Trump has been doing to some of former President Barack Obama’s executive orders.

One such order is in regard to Trump’s differing stance than that of Obama’s concerning illegal immigration. The Donald (is it okay to still call him that?) is making good on his promise to “build the wall.” I’m actually no longer too concerned about building a wall because most of the damage has already been done. Droves of illegal immigrants have already established themselves in this country, during the last several years, and I believe the number of illegals crossing our nation’s Southern border these days is minimal. Many critics have scoffed at the President’s statement that Mexico will be paying for our border security. Obviously, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will not be handing President Trump a check for the project (Nieto has said as much), but I do think somehow, whether through tariffs or future negotiations, Mexico may very well be paying for the wall.

I’m totally on board with Trump’s decision to come down hard on “sanctuary cities.” Miscreants should not be granted immunity just for finding a place where the overseers have no respect for their country’s statutes. Those government officials who refuse to uphold the laws of the land should be held accountable for their actions. The likes of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray should suffer any and all consequences for not complying with the President’s executive order. This includes slashing federal funding for their cities, and I would even suggest a little jail time for the mayors’ blatant disregard for authority.

Another executive order President Trump recently signed was to expedite the review process of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Sound familiar? Probably because it has been in the news off and on – like forever. The shovel-ready jobs were desperately needed during the early stages of the Great Recession, but former President Obama “needed” over 6 years to review the process before ultimately deciding to reject the planned fourth phase of the pipeline project. Those jobs aren’t needed near as much now as they were back then, but they’re jobs nonetheless.

I also agree with Trump’s executive order to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). He’s definitely not alone in his thinking on this issue. Even two of his political nemeses, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, have been very vocal about opposing the trade agreement which includes eleven other countries. The TPP was supported by former President Barack Obama and by Hillary Clinton as well, but many on both sides of the aisle view the proposal as more beneficial to the other countries involved than to the United States. I understand that President Trump’s newest tagline is mostly political rhetoric, but I have no problem with “America First” whatsoever.

I might have given President Trump a higher mark if it weren’t for his continued, and unsubstantiated, accusations of voter fraud in this country. Just this week our 45th President boldly declared he probably would’ve won the presidential election’s popular vote (he won the electoral vote) if it weren’t for the numerous fraudulent ballots cast by illegal immigrants and even deceased people in favor of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. I’m sure some illegal votes were cast, but Trump estimates the number to be somewhere between 3 and 5 million. Come on. Just another example of The Donald’s evident inability to think before he speaks. Many times I like his candidness, but at times it makes him look foolish. The President, like everyone else, should hold his tongue until all of the facts are in.

I’m also a bit leery of President Trump’s desire to fast track the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Republicans in Congress did not offer any alternative plans prior to the inception of Obamacare, and they did not even mention the word replace until the most recent election. I think to successfully repeal and replace the ACA will require sensibility and a delicate touch – not a willy-nilly, hurry-up approach just to appease those who want Obamacare instantly dismantled. The fact is there are millions of people who have purchased health insurance for the first time because of the ACA and whom are very appreciative for being able to do so.

It’s no secret that I’ve been a proponent of the Affordable Care act since day one. My lovely wife and I have benefited immensely by choosing health insurance through the ACA Marketplace; We finally have very good coverage at a very affordable rate. Until the implementation of Obamacare the missus and I had consistently paid good money, for decades mind you, for crappy health insurance. I think good, affordable health care should be a right of every American citizen.

However, we’ve also witnessed firsthand this year the apparent implosion of the government-run program. In the state of Arizona, the number of insurers participating in the ACA Marketplace dropped from a robust 12 companies last year to a measly 1 for 2017. By the way, having only one choice is really no choice at all. Something surely needs to be done about our current healthcare system, but I hope (and pray) our elected officials will compromise enough to get it right this time. President Trump’s future grade depends on it. There’s a long way to go in Trump’s presidency, but our 45th President of the United States is doing a commendable job…thus far.

Advertisements

A Very Good Week For The President

Last week was a very good week for President Barack Obama. The United States Supreme Court upheld a provision (government subsidies) crucial to Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, Congress approved a bill allowing America’s leader “fast track” dominion over free-trade agreements, and same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide. Of course, the President wasn’t actually responsible, for giving homosexuals the right to legal matrimony, but the Supreme Court’s ruling did happen on his watch. I’m not exactly sure what platform the Republicans will be able to embrace, this next election cycle, with “Obamacare” and gay marriage now being laws of the land. I suppose there is the nation’s gargantuan debt, in which one of their own (George W. Bush) began, and Obama unashamedly increased by colossal proportions, still left for debate.

By now, it’s no secret my lovely wife and I are proponents of the ACA. We’ve heard the horror stories and numerous rants, in opposition to the historical piece of legislation, but for us “Obamacare” has been nothing but a good thing. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with degenerative hip disease which means I’ll most-likely need hip replacement surgeries at some point. Without the Affordable Care Act we had decent health insurance, but the insurance company attached a rider to our policy denying coverage of my hips. With “Obamacare,” through our state’s health insurance marketplace, my wife and I have even better health insurance (at a slightly lower premium) that covers my pre-existing condition as mandated by the new law. Although the ACA is not perfect I’d absolutely hate to see this country’s healthcare system revert back to what it was.

I’ve also heard the arguments, for and against, concerning the recently proposed free-trade agreements. It’s interesting to me how seemingly equally intelligent individuals can be on opposite sides of any given issue, and each side can cite specific data in support of their chosen stance. Some say the trade partnership with other countries will help the U.S. economy while others say it will further hinder the nation’s unemployment rate. I tend to agree with the latter, based on the consequences suffered at the hands of a previous free-trade agreement (NAFTA), although I’m not too familiar with the details of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreements. I do know there already are not enough jobs, in the United States, for every able-bodied person wanting one. Almighty technology is responsible for continuously squeezing out the human workforce and forever causing a lack of employment in this country.

Computers and machines have been replacing human beings, at an alarming rate, and will continue doing so. Bank tellers have lost out to ATMs and on-line banking, and more and more stores are replacing checkers with self-checkouts. The days of seeing two men on the back of a garbage truck have all but disappeared. Eventually and inevitably we’ll be saying goodbye to FED-EX and UPS delivery drivers – thanks to drones, and we’ll be bidding a fond farewell to truck, taxi, and limousine drivers – thanks to driverless vehicles. Regardless, whether or not the TPP or TTIP would aid in diminishing more jobs, here at home, I do not think the agreements should be “fast tracked” as is now permitted by the recent somewhat bipartisan passage of the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). In general, rushing into anything is not usually recommended, so I wish our elected officials would’ve taken more time considering such an important matter.

I do not pretend to understand homosexuality, and my religion certainly does not condone it, but just like the millions of illegal immigrants, occupying this land, homosexuals are here to stay. I think everybody saw legalized same-sex marriage coming at some point; however, I think the Supreme Court’s citing of the United States Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment, in its ruling, quite possibly provides a gateway to other legitimate requests for legalized marriages. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits state governments from depriving its citizens of “life, liberty, or property.” What about those people whose desired liberty includes polygamy or marrying someone within their own family? It’s something to think about.

I heard a new argument, soon after the Supreme Court’s ruling, as to why gay couples should not be allowed to marry. Some people are saying the newlyweds will have a negative economic impact on our federal government, and they’re also suddenly concerned about Social Security and how legalized same-sex marriage will assuredly reduce the fragile system of its funds. That may be true; however, heterosexuals have been draining the system for years, and I haven’t heard too many complaints. Besides, others have suggested that the decreased spending on Medicaid and Medicare, after gay couples marry, would more than make up for the increase in payable Social Security benefits. The real problem is our leaders, from both sides of the aisle, have been making withdrawals from the beloved program for decades. Maybe now is the time for our elected officials to have a serious, bipartisan discussion about Social Security before the well runs dry.

In 50 years (probably less) no one is going to ponder when homosexuals weren’t allowed to marry. I rarely contemplate a way of life that was different than my lifetime, so why wouldn’t others be prone to do the same? I don’t think much about the telegraph, eight-track tapes, or segregation, since they were before my time, although I know they all existed. Likewise, future generations aren’t going to dwell on landlines, compact discs, or the days when there was heterosexual marriage only, because they’ll all simply be things of the past. That’s just how it is…like it or not. Yes, last week was indeed a good week for homosexuals, trade advocates, and “Obamacare” supporters. It certainly was a very good week for the President.